Why are conservative bloggers posting photos of Riviera Beach mayor?

A picture of Riviera Beach Mayor Thomas Masters is getting national attention – but not for a good reason.

It’s a picture of him with a cop-killer.

Last year, Masters attended the funeral for Michael Brown, whose death at the hands of a Ferguson, Mo., police officer sparked a wave of protests and a national conversation about police deadly force.

At the funeral, Masters, in his bishop’s attire, posed for a photo with a young man, Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks, who uploaded the photo to his own Facebook page.

According to his spokeswoman, Masters had no idea who the man was and didn’t ask. He didn’t appear to be tagged in Joseph-Shanks’ photo.

But Johnson-Shanks is now dead, having been shot and killed by police in Kentucky after being suspected of killing Kentucky State Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder Sunday night.

Johnson-Shank’s Facebook page has since been taken down, but not before many people saw and downloaded one of his pictures – the one with Masters.

The picture has since been posted on many rightwing websites.

“That person asked to take a picture with him and posted a selfie,” said Masters’ spokeswoman, Rose Ann Brown. “That happens to him frequently, particularly when he’s wearing that attire, that bishop’s attire.”

She said Masters didn’t know the man, but is aware the picture has been making the rounds online.

“You never know who’s asking to take a picture with you,” Brown said. “It could happen to anyone.”

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